Read the Safer Spaces policy

Overview of the Safer Spaces Process for Reporting and Responding Parties

Calvin University Philosophy for the Safer Spaces Team
  • We offer process rights to both the reporting and responding parties.
  • We are seeking to understand the whole picture, from various perspectives, from all parties.
  • We seek to fully understand potential policy violations and develop appropriate interventions, remedies and/or sanctions.
  • The overall process goal is to achieve healing, growth, and restoration.

*Reporting Party means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute harassment or discrimination based on a protected class; or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.

*Responding Party means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute harassment or discrimination based on a protected class; or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.

  • Options
    • It’s your decision whether to notify parents, spouse, or a relative about the process.
    • You have the option to seek legal advice.
    • Students may access personal counseling through the Center for Counseling and Wellness. Employees can access support through the Employee Assistance program.
    • You may request clarification or further information about the process from the Coordinator assigned to this complaint process.
  • Process Rights
    • You have access to support options and resources regardless of whether you decide to participate in the Safer Spaces complaint or a local law enforcement reporting process.
    • Your identity will be kept private; only those actively involved in the case will have access to your case information.
    • Student educational records will be kept confidential except where release of this information is required as part of the Safer Spaces process. Calvin University is required to maintain confidential records outside of the process exceptions.
    • The complaint will be addressed through an evidence-based investigation and a resolution process using the preponderance of evidence standard.
    • The process is led by Safer Spaces team members who are trained, experienced, and practice objectivity.
    • You may select an advisor of your own choosing to participate with you in all aspects of the process. For more information on the advisor role, see Advisor Agreement.
    • You will have the opportunity to participate by suggesting avenues of investigation and potential witnesses and by providing electronic evidence. (texts, voice mails, social media posts, etc.)
    • You will have an opportunity to review the evidence and the final report which summarizes and analyzes the key evidence.
    • You will receive written notification regarding the final disposition including the finding and the interventions, requirements, remedies, and sanctions.
    • You may submit an appeal based on the appeal grounds defined in the Safer Spaces policy.
  • Expectations
    • We ask that all parties suspend conclusions until all facts and perspectives are reviewed.
    • All parties tell the truth, without omission, even if doing so may result in sanctions or an undesired outcome. We ask this because we believe that truth telling is the best option for both parties.
    • All parties take responsibility for their actions, even if doing so may result in sanctions or an undesired outcome.
    • All parties will preserve evidence surrounding the circumstances of the incident and allegations, including physical and electronic evidence (text messages, receipts, written communication, emails, photos, social media posts, screenshots, etc).
    • All parties are prohibited from retaliating against another person or their character, friends, or property because of their participation in a report, investigation, or resolution process.
  • Possible interim measures and sanctions:
    • Interim measures: At any time during the process, Calvin may impose interim measures pending the outcome. These may include placing limitations on contact between the parties, interim suspension, or making alternate living, class, or workplace arrangements. Calvin will also take reasonable and legal action to implement any court issued restraining order or a Calvin University no-contact order. You are required to comply with interim measures; failing to comply is a violation of university policy separate from the allegations of the complaint.
    • Sanctions: If there is a finding of a policy violation, requirements may include counseling or training, separation of the parties, remedies, restitution, and/or sanctions including written reprimand, probation, suspension, demotion, termination, or expulsion.